Saturday, April 23, 2011

One-paragraph reviews: Wolverine and Jubilee, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Silver Surfer

Wolverine and Jubilee #4
Written by Kathryn Immonen; art by Phil Noto; Marvel.

I'm really sad that this is over. I would have kept buying it if it was an ongoing instead of a limited series. What originally attracted me to it was Phil Noto's amazing artwork, but I think I might even keep reading if another artist took over (depending on who it was, of course), just because I'm enjoying the dynamic between these two characters so much. Kathryn Immonen's writing is really good and I like her sense of humour, so I'll keep an eye out for her other work from now on. The story here got really crazy in the third issue, but it comes to a fairly satisfying conclusion in this one. when the series started, I almost expected it to end with some kind of permanent cure for Jubilee's vampirism, but I guess it's no surprise that Marvel would want to keep this status quo for a bit longer. I don't know how much I like it, but Immonen certainly found a way to make it interesting, proving that in the right hands even fairly idiotic editorial mandates can be turned into good stories. It'll be interesting to see what else Marvel has in store for this character.

EXCELLENT (writing and art)


Supergirl #63
"Good-Looking Corpse part 4"
Written by James Peaty; art by Bernard Chang; DC.

I have almost no recollection of what happened in the previous issue and I think it's because I fell asleep while reading it. Not because it was so mind-numbingly boring that it put me to sleep or anything. I was just really tired. Sometimes it happens. Anyway, I guess I should have gone back and re-read it before reading this issue, but somehow it didn't seem worth the trouble to dig it out of my shortbox. Bernard Chang's art is pretty good. The story is all right, though I have a hard time figuring out how it all fits together - the iPhone app, the mind-control, the genetically engineered DNAlien, the robots, the energy shield holding Supergirl prisoner. I have no idea what this villain's plan is, but I guess that'll be explained in the next issue, which concludes this story arc. My favourite part of the issue was probably Damian resisting the mind-control longer than Blue Beetle or Miss Martian (though that made some fans grumble), until the bad guy uses his worst fear against him, which ends up being a vision of him siding with his mother and defeating the entire Bat family. I guess this kind of characterization of Damian is not too original, as we've seen those same themes explored in lots of other books, but it's nice to see this version of him gaining popularity in the DCU, as opposed to the kind of superficial and off-key characterization we've seen in Teen Titans, for example.

OKAY (writing) / GOOD (art)


Teen Titans #94
"The Power of Myth"
Written by J.T. Krul; art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood; DC.

Speaking of Teen Titans, I'm enjoying this title a lot more now that out-of-character Damian is out of it, though I'm still kind of bitter about the way he was basically just used to set up the return of Tim Drake to the team. This is a bit of a tangant, but I'm sick of Tim Drake. Fabian Nicieza ruined the character for me and now I just kind of want him out of this book, too. Anyway, the story here is nothing mindblowing, but it's all right, and Krul seems to be doing okay with the characters. There are a few things that are probably going to ultimately determine whether this is a hit or a miss for me. One of them is what happens with Cassie. Since she and Superboy broke up, she's given up leadership of the team (a role Tim of course took over, *groan*) and seems to be a bit off her game. I hope this is only temporary. I don't really care if she gets back with Superboy, as I find this kind of romance pretty boring in comics, but I just don't want her character to be damaged by this heartbreak. Second, I'm anxiously waiting to see what Krul does with his new character, Solstice. I hope she will join the team as a permanant member, as she brings a much needed element of diversity to the team, but I'm a little nervous about the effect she's having on Raven and where that's going. This story concludes in #97, and the solicitatin for #98 gives no clue as to whether Solstice will still be in the book or not. Which of course could just mean that DC is actively trying to avoid spoilers. Speaking of solicits, there's a different artist listed for #98, and I'm hoping it's just a temporary fill-in. Nicola Scott is absolutely killing it on this book, and I'm not sure I would bother to keep buying it with someone else doing the art.

OKAY (writing) / EXCELLENT (art)


Silver Surfer #3
Written by Greg Pak; art by Harvey Tolibao, Iban Coello and Sandu Florea; Marvel.

The art team on this series is all over the place. In just three issues, we've had 3 different pencillers (with multiple pencillers on two issues) and 4 inkers. It's hard to judge exactly who is responsible for what, but I'm just going to say that overall I'm not a fan of any of the art in this series. Which is really too bad, because I am really loving the story. I thought Greg Pak did an amazing job in the first issue, both in terms of capturing the Silver Surfer's melodramatic internal monologues and ending on a really dramatic moment with him getting depowered. Since then, he's brought something new to the table with every issue. #2 focused on Norrid Radd getting reaccustomed to his physical (and vulnerable) body and all the strange sensations he'd been deprived of as the Silver Surfer. This issue deals with the understanding of the "balance of the universe" that came with the Power Cosmic and the moral responsibility that came with having to decide which worlds to feed Galactus. The High Evolutionary has hacked into Galactus's Star Sphere and is using it to create life instead of destroying it, but in doing so he's upsetting not just the Earth's ecosystem, but "the balance of the universe." (I've noticed this "balance of the universe" thing comes up a lot in comic books and I'm not really sure it makes any sense. But I'll save that for another rant.) Anyway, I'm probably not doing it justice with my brief synopsis, but it's good stuff and it ends with a nice twist that really makes me look forward to the next issue.

VERY GOOD (writing) / POOR (art)


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